Ever since I moved back home for the summer, I have been dreaming of the day I can go back to college in the fall…and become a Resident Assistant (RA)!! I am so excited I got chosen for an opportunity to be in charge of a hall on campus, and help foster my girl’s social, emotional, and even spiritual lives. I know that it might be a little early to start calling them “my girls” but I cannot think of a better name for them!
This summer is crucial that I prepare myself for the responsibilities of a RA, and to make sure that I enjoy my summer too. One of the things I began to prepare myself for is how my dorm and hall will look like! What theme should I have for my hall? What color scheme should I choose? How should the door “decs” look like? What do I need in my dorm as a RA? What style do I want to go for? As a early planner and person who loves to decorate and prepare, I made a lot of decisions about the appearance of being a RA. In the middle of shopping online, pinning ideas from Pinterest, and making plans, a question popped in my head: “What else do you need to do?”
In that moment, I knew that question was from God. As I stopped scrolling a store’s website and ponder about the question, I was convicted of what I was not doing. In that moment, I felt God saying to me:
“Lisa, you can prepare the appearance of your dorm and hall but, what matters to me is how you are preparing yourself emotionally and spiritually so you can be the best RA you can be.”
I am not saying that wanting to make my dorm or hall nice and welcoming for my girls is wrong. I believe that God has given me a gift to plan and decorate, so that I can use them for His glory. I strive for that. However, I definitely believe that not only should I be preparing for my dorm and hall but, I should also be preparing my heart, mind, and soul for a RA position. That was what I lost sight of, and I am so thankful for a God who always (always) helps and guide us!
So, how do I prepare myself emotionally and spiritually to be a RA? Seeking God in His word and prayer is always a great first step! I also began writing down expectations and boundaries for myself. It is important that I am flexible with these lists because once the real deal comes it may be best for me to get rid of an expectation or alter a boundary! I have also been reflecting and observing my behavior during certain situations and seeing how I can take care of myself so I can re-charge. I am quite sure that my training to be a RA in early August will also cover these topics or lists, so I cannot wait to learn more of these kicks and giggles in my training!
Even though I am excited about being a RA, I am also kind of nervous. “What if my girls do not like me?”, “What if I do a terrible job?”, and “Can I really be a RA to some (or most) of the girls who are older than me?” Those questions have been sitting in my head… However, I choose to not let those questions invade my mind. Yes, it can be true that some of my girls may not like me or think I am doing a terrible job. Yes, people and my girls may have their own thoughts about a younger RA and what I should be doing versus what I am not doing. I accept that I will not be a perfect RA, and that I will make many mistakes!
I strive to be the best, genuine, and caring RA I can be–in the eyes of God! Before heading off to college, a close friend and mentor noticed that I am a huge “people pleaser”. She encouraged me that I am not trying to please the eyes of people but the eyes of God. So, with that being said, people interpret what a “best, genuine, and caring RA” can be like in so many ways but, for me I am stating that I will try my best to exemplify the leadership of Christ, love extravagantly, speak courageously, and act responsibly as a RA! I want to do things where God will say, “That’s my girl!” or “I am so proud of my Lisa!”